We had a quick stop in Sandy Eggo (San Diego for the rest of you). I managed to leave the club and ride down to Ocean Beach. There are some decent bike paths around there, I was just sort of stumbling my way around with the help of my trusty iPhone, which certainly kept me from getting lost on this relatively short (4 miles each way) journey. There are lots of confusing overpasses and winding viaduct type roads around where I was riding.
The following day our whole entourage flew to Richmond, VA. There I reassembled my bike and got in a short ride to Cary Bicycle Works for a little chain lube and seatpost grease. All that rainy NW riding had taken a toll on my trusty steed. Pretty nice place Richmond. It had been some years since my last visit. Thanks to the nice folks at the shop for some free quickie maintenance.
Yesterday morning we arrived in our nation's capital. After a quick breakfast and shower, I went off for a morning ride to Rock Creek Park. This little wooded oasis is really one of the gems of Washington DC. You can really forget you are in a major metropolitan area when you are in the thick of this place. Just loads and loads of trees, rolling hills, a beautiful creek, lots of little rocky cliffs and whatnot. I ended up finding my way to the path with a little trial and error and rode north about 10 miles. It's about half not-that-great bike path and half lightly trafficked roadway. I read one web page that advised to stay off the roadway part of it, but I found that to be the most relaxing part of the ride. The cars that did come past were few and far between and did a pretty good job of courteously waiting until a nice open section to pass me wide in the other lane. The bike path on the other hand was not great. It wasn't totally awful, but it did have a lot of cracks that had swollen to big wrinkles and was pretty bone-jarring at times.
Overall, no big complaints though on a pretty great warm overcast morning in a gorgeous park. I ended up with a nice 20 mile ride before 11am. Here are a couple of shots of the park. The first is the bike path and the second is the portion on Beach Drive, which is the shared roadway on the north part of the trail.
Finally here is my route. The mapmyride application choked partways on the trip out, but tracked the trip back and gives a good sense of the whole thing.
On a final note, I also got a nice feeling riding around and thinking that the Obama administration was pretty much firmly running things all over this town. After so many years of coming through here during the Bush adminstration, where there seemed to me to be an almost physically palpable sense of how incongrous this city's heterogenous population was with the hostlie posturing of Bush and company towards large urban areas in general and particularly OVERWHELMINGLY Democratic populaces such as the District, there was a feeling of things being much more right around town. I saw a number of unsanctioned paintings of Obama on the alley sides of buildings that were already looking rather weathered and comfortable. One day they'll just be barely decipherable pieces of ephemera marking a time in the life of this city. I don't think there are any lovingly handpainted Bush portraits on the walls of DC buildings that will be making the same journey into the future.